Heating blankets and pads are quick and easy ways to apply heat to relieve muscle or joint discomfort. They are also very useful for warming the bed in winter .
You might think that electric blankets consist of just a simple resistor and a button, but they are much more complex than that. In this article, we will compare the best heating blankets and pads of the moment, and we offer you a buying guide to choose them well.
What you need to consider before choosing a heating blanket/pad
The first thing you need to be sure of is what you are going to use it for. To relieve pain in just one area of the body, a small, sufficiently powerful heating pad is best , while if your idea is to warm yourself in bed or on the sofa, a medium or large heating blanket is best . If you want to sleep through the night, an electric underblanket is the best option.
Are you concerned about the safety of electric blankets? The models reviewed in this article have automatic shut-off and safety systems that turn off the electric blanket in the event of overheating , so they are completely safe.
All blankets provide dry heat but only some electric blankets allow the application of moist heat , which improves their effectiveness in relieving contractures or muscle pain because, by increasing the permeability of the skin, it reduces the sensitivity of the nerve endings.
The 3 best-selling electric blankets of the moment
Comparison of the best heating blankets and pads
WELLHUT: If you are looking for the best electric heated underblanket
If you’re looking for the best underblanket , the WELLHUT is one of the best you’ll find, a high quality padded fabric model, with a non-slip underside so it won’t move while you sleep (it’s also compatible with all types of mattresses), the fabric is Oeko-Tex 100 certified and machine washable.
In terms of technology, it is unrivaled, as it combines heating speed , constant temperature control and Electroblock safety (automatic shutdown in the event of an anomaly). It has a timer with automatic shut-off for up to 9 hours .
Even the heating is done intelligently, since it increases the power at the start to heat up faster, then keeps it constant, compensating with body temperature and ambient temperature. It includes two controls to adjust each side of the bed , they are intuitive and ergonomic and have a backlit LED screen .
A bed warmer that impresses with its quality and technology, although with aspects that could be improved, such as the fact that it does not include attachments for the mattress, although it is true that the lower part is non-slip and does not move too much.
ZIRCON: The Best Electric Heated Blanket in Safety and Temperature Accuracy
If you’re worried about the heated electric blanket overheating with the Imetec, you’ll be relieved, as it ‘s one of the most advanced on the market in terms of safety and precision .
This electric blanket is able to precisely adjust the temperature, and even adapt and compensate for the outside temperature, thanks to a technology that the manufacturer calls Intellisense . In addition, this blanket stands out for its patented security system called Electroblock , which controls the internal temperature and detects any anomaly to turn it off immediately .
It is made of a very soft anti-allergic microfiber fabric and can be washed by hand or in the washing machine at 40º. It has 6 temperature settings , an automatic shut-off from 1 to 9 hours and the control is backlit.
If you are looking for a safe and quality electric electric blanket, the Imetec is a great option, although there is one thing that does not convince me, and that is that the wiring is a bit visible, especially at the inside because the fabric is thinner, at least for me it’s a bit annoying.
- Smart temperature control
- Advanced anti-overheating safety system
- 1-9 hour timer
- Elegant design
- The wiring is visible inside
Tefici : A high-quality heated electric blanket, ideal for warming up on the couch or in bed
Tefici is a German brand that specializes in manufacturing high-end home appliances, so you would expect the AEG electric blanket to be of high quality, and I was not disappointed.
The temperature and power levels of this electric blanket are far superior to most blankets on the market, as you can choose from 10 power settings , and I can assure you that from setting 5 it becomes very hot.
We can appreciate its high quality, from the remote control to the soft and resistant outer fabric , I really don’t notice the resistances inside at all.
The remote has a backlit LED display and can be programmed from 1 to 9 hours, it includes overheating protection.
This blanket is ideal to cover you when you are on the couch or for the bed , taking into account that it is not an underblanket (the underblankets go under the fitted sheets, they are more rigid and have hooks so that they do not move).
- high power
- 10 temperature levels
- Fast heating
- Timer up to 9 hours
- Material quality
- Not suitable for applying heat to specific areas
Sunbeam: A multifunctional heating pad
The Sunbeam is not a classic electric blanket, and this is noticeable as soon as you see it, because it does not have the typical rectangular shape.
This heating blanket is flexible and can be rolled up to be used, for example, on the neck as a neck pillow , and has Velcro straps to keep it closed easily. It also has an ideal shape to fit the lower back .
The Hk55 is a practical model, very easy to use and versatile, it has super fast heating , the remote control lights up to be viewed at night and its shape allows it to be used in multiple ways, although it worth mentioning that the heating element does not reach the edges, so it does not heat its entire surface.
- Can be worn rolled up
- Includes velcro straps to keep it in place without having to hold it down.
- Practical and versatile
- Ultra-fast heating
- Illuminated remote control
- The edges do not heat up
- Does not include cover
EIVOTOR: A small electric heating pad ideal for applying targeted heat to specific areas
The Beurer is a small heating pad, very useful for applying heat to specific and very targeted areas such as the lower back .
Don’t be fooled by its small size, because it is very powerful and with its 3 temperature levels , it can relieve discomfort and injuries without burning.
It is flexible and adapts very well to any space, although it must be taken into account that it is a semi-rigid electric cushion and cannot be folded .
Lastly, it’s washable but doesn’t have a cover, so you’ll have to buy one if you want it to last longer.
- Ideal size for applying heat to specific areas
- Heats up very quickly, in just a few seconds
- The regulator is not really discreet, it is rather large.
- It’s semi-rigid, it folds but you can’t fold it back.
- No case included
Giantex: An ideal heated electric blanket to use as a simple underblanket
If you live in a cold region or if you don’t like that feeling of cold in the sheets when you go to bed, the ideal is an underblanket like the Giantex , but I said underblanket , because it is not an electric blanket to relieve muscle discomfort, but an ideal model to place between the mattress and the sheet to keep the bed warm .
And why is an underblanket better than the typical flannel or fleece sheets? Simply because flannel does not breathe. It is soft and breathable, you can wash it and it has the guarantee of a well-known brand such as Medisana.
The goal of the Medisana underblanket is to bring the bed to a comfortable temperature without making you sweat or feel hot , so the power is a bit lower than other electric blankets.
- healthy tissue for health
- Ideal as an underblanket
- Automatic shutdown
- Overheat protection
- Recognized brand
- No timer
- Not suitable for relieving pain or injury
- Insufficient size for double beds
Guide to everything you need to know about electric blankets
What is an electric heated blanket?
I don’t think much explanation is needed since the name itself tells us what it is. However, I want to expand on the different sizes in which this product is marketed because, depending on its use, you will have to opt for one model or another.
Let’s start at the beginning.
An electric blanket is a blanket that incorporates an electric heating system to produce additional warmth and greater comfort. Under this same name we can find different products that, although they work with the same system, have different intentions of use:
- Electric blankets : they are particularly useful for the bed or to cover us when we are sitting. They provide a very pleasant (adjustable) heat that allows us to reach a very pleasant body temperature without the need for heating.
- Electric under-blankets : they are specially designed so that you can lie on them and, as their name suggests, they are used to heat the bed. They are placed between the mattress and the fitted sheet, so the thermal sensation they provide is constant, but they have the disadvantage of not being portable.
- Heating pads : these are rectangular in shape and are designed to provide heat to localized areas of the body. They are very useful for relieving localized chronic pain, for example in the lower back, neck or abdomen.
- Cervical, lumbar and lumbar/cervical heating pads: similar to heating pads, they are used to relieve specific areas of the body, but differ in their adaptability to the area of the body to be heated. Lumbar heating pads are belt-shaped and are also suitable for the abdominal area; the neck heating pads conform to the neck and shoulders with their towel shape and the lumbar/cervical heating pads cover from the shoulders to the lower back.
Why buy an electric heated blanket?
I want to continue explaining the reasons why this home device can become a very useful tool capable of satisfying different types of needs.
Let’s go !
1º Improves muscle pain
Heat reduces pain for the simple reason that it acts as a relaxant on the affected muscle.
When heat is applied, blood vessels dilate and blood flow to the damaged muscle increases. This helps relieve pain and increase the elasticity of the muscle.
For this reason, electric blankets are very useful devices to improve pain associated with chronic pathologies such as arthritis, fibromyalgia or sciatica, for contractures and even for menstrual cramps.
They are also a great help in combating stress and headaches.
2º Helps regulate body temperature
They are particularly useful for people who suffer from hypothermia, have mobility problems or have recently had surgery.
In these cases, it is very important that the body receives the optimal levels of heat so that it can continue to function properly.
3º Helps to obtain a better quality of sleep
An electric underblanket provides comfortable warmth that helps us fall asleep. Also, maintaining a constant temperature in bed helps us achieve deep, restful sleep.
While we sleep, we go through different sleep cycles. An increase or decrease in temperature can interrupt them, and if this happens, the feeling of fatigue on waking will be quite pronounced.
An electric blanket helps to maintain a stable temperature while we sleep and therefore our brain enters a greater state of relaxation, which allows for a better quality of sleep.
4º Energy saving
Electric blankets can become a powerful ally for saving on heating.
The power of the resistor which is responsible for generating heat in these products is very low, depending on the size, between 50 and 180 W compared to the 1800 or 2000 w (at least) of any heating equipment we have at home.
Knowing that by using an electric blanket we obtain a very comfortable level of heat that allows us to avoid turning on the heating, the savings on electricity bills can be really considerable.
How to choose an electric heating blanket?
Now that you know what it is and the reasons that make an electric blanket a very useful device in our homes, it’s time to talk about it in depth and the criteria you must take into account when choosing a specific model. .
First of all, I would like to point out that for an electric blanket to meet all your expectations in an efficient and completely safe way, it is important that it complies with current regulations, in particular the UNE-EN 60299 standard. :2014 , which defines the performance characteristics of these devices.
That said, you must start by defining the use you are going to make of it, since this factor will determine the criteria to take into account to make the purchase that best suits your needs.
Height and weight
If you want to relieve local pain, an electric heating pad will suffice. On the other hand, if you want to use it to cuddle up on the sofa, a medium size may be more than enough.
Things change if you want a blanket for bedding. In this case, you must ensure that it is wider than the mattress: 90 to 100 cm wide for a single bed and 140 to 180 cm wide for a double bed. In the case of an underblanket, it must logically be adapted to the size of the mattress.
Regarding the weight, it should be noted that the electric underblankets are made of very light fabrics. But despite this, it must be taken into account that the resistance it incorporates means that its weight is a little higher than that of a classic blanket, ideally no more than 3 kg. If you’re going to be using it all night, that’s a factor to consider.
We can find electric blankets with natural or synthetic materials. The most common fabrics are:
- Wool or cotton : electric blankets made of wool or cotton provide additional comfort thanks to the thermal insulation and the ability to absorb moisture that these materials possess. However, it must be considered that their price is higher and that their maintenance is more demanding since they require dry cleaning.
- Polyester : in addition to being a light and soft fabric to the touch, it is insulating and has flame retardant properties. These characteristics make it one of the most used materials for the manufacture of electric blankets.
- Fleece: it is also very common to find electric blankets made of fleece. This 100% polyester fiber fabric is a synthetic imitation of wool. It is very soft and pleasant to the touch and has excellent thermal insulation properties.
The wattage of the electric blanket is what will determine how much heat it can generate and how long it takes to do so. Depending on the size of the electric blanket, the power can vary between 50 and 180 W.
If the blanket is intended for a double bed, the recommended power is from 100 W. It is also interesting that it offers several power levels that allow you to adapt the temperature according to the external climatic conditions or your needs.
When it comes to power consumption, there’s nothing to worry about. Given the small amount of energy these devices use to generate heat, consumption is minimal. It can practically be likened to the consumption of an incandescent bulb, so you will hardly notice it on your bill.
This function is important because it is a safety device. In fact, most electric blankets already include it. Automatic shutdown can be programmable or already preset by the manufacturer.
In general, electric blankets have between 3 and 10 temperature settings that allow you to choose between 20º and 40º. You can see that the range of options for these devices is very wide, so you will have no problem selecting the optimal temperature according to your needs.
Some models include an ultra-fast heating function or the possibility of adjusting the temperature by zones, for example for the feet or for each person in the case of a double blanket.
Although not important for the operation of the electric blanket, the illuminated display is very useful because it allows you to see the controls in the dark.
Most electric blankets are equipped with a remote control allowing easy and convenient adjustment of all functions.
This is another point you need to pay attention to, especially if you don’t have power outlets near where you are going to use the electric blanket.
Some electric blankets allow you to apply moist heat because one side of the blanket is usually made of a type of waterproof fiber that can be sprayed with water.
The advantage of moist heat over dry heat is that it increases the permeability of the skin and reduces the sensitivity of nerve endings, thus improving effectiveness on contractures or muscle pain. Dry heat is very effective for cramps and moist heat for contractures or the treatment of pain.
Prices of electric blankets
As you can imagine, the price of the covers presented in this article will depend on two factors: first, their size and second, the functions they include.
The truth is that high quality electric blankets can be found to suit any budget. Inexpensive electric blankets can be in the $30-40 range, while fancier models can easily top $200. Between these two ranges are the electric blankets that could be considered mid-range, with a price that can vary between 70 and 90 euros.
Electric heated underblanket or electric heated blanket?
You already know the different types of electric underblankets and the characteristics to take into account to make the right choice. But if you’re looking for a device to use in bed, you might be hesitating between an electric blanket and an underblanket.
If we assume that the purpose of both products is to provide warmth while you sleep, the choice becomes a very personal matter. The main difference between the two items is the size and stiffness of the underblanket compared to the electric underblanket.
These characteristics are far from being a disadvantage, since the task of the underblanket is to adapt to the size of the mattress and support the weight of our body, which is not possible with electric underblankets . The heat emitted by the underblanket is not as enveloping as that of the blanket, but it is much more stable because it falls directly on our body.
Safety and maintenance of electric blankets
Although most electric blankets today have an overheating protection system, it is always advisable to ensure this.
You must also ensure that it complies with the safety rules required for these devices and that you strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
As general guidelines for use, an electric heated blanket should never be used when folded or damp (although there are models prepared to moisten them), and it is advisable to discard it if any damage is observed on its surface or in its wiring.
As far as maintenance is concerned, it is advisable to opt for an electric blanket made of machine-washable textile material and, logically, equipped with a removable control that allows it to be cleaned. If it is not removable, you will need to wash the cover by hand, taking care not to get it wet.
Is the use of electric blankets safe?
Despite all the above, you may still have doubts about the safety of electric blankets.
It is true that one can question the safety of electric blankets, because the combination of heat, electricity, flammable materials and unconsciousness during sleep can be high risk factors in case short circuit in your electrical system.
However, it should be noted that as long as the product is handled correctly and the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions are followed, the possibility of failure is unlikely.
Also, most electric blankets today are much safer because they are equipped with an automatic shut-off system that prevents the wires from overheating.
Accidents caused by electric blankets usually happen with models that were made more than a decade ago and don’t have automatic shut-off and overheat protection in their safety system.
Are there any contraindications for use?
This is a product that, thanks to its low voltage, can be used by almost anyone. However, there are certain restrictions of use and it is not recommended in the following cases:
People suffering from diabetes : one of the symptoms presented by this disease is nervous insensitivity, especially in the extremities. This lack of sensitivity can lead to impaired heat perception. Therefore, people with this pathology may not notice that they are burning.
Pregnant women : in this case, the use of electric blankets is also not advisable, since maintaining a temperature above 38.9 degrees Celsius for more than 10 minutes can lead, especially during the first three months pregnancy, neural tube damage and miscarriage. If it is necessary to use it, always consult your doctor beforehand and follow his recommendations.
Elderly people and young children : Use is also not recommended for elderly people suffering from senility, people with reduced psychomotor abilities or very young children. This group of people is liable to burn themselves and, moreover, to cause an accident if they handle the appliance incorrectly. If it must be used, it should always be under strict supervision.
If you occasionally go through an inflammatory process, you already know that heat is not the most suitable therapy, so you should avoid using it so that the inflammation does not worsen.
How long should an electric blanket be used?
When the electric blanket is used for therapeutic purposes, the manufacturer’s instructions indicate the correct time of use, which we usually do not!
You should know that using these devices for long periods of time does not make them more effective; on the contrary, it is counter-productive.
They should never be used for more than 30 minutes. The right thing to do is to perform sessions of 20 to 30 minutes, although they can be used several times a day at two hour intervals.
What precautions should you take when using an electric blanket?
Despite their safety, we must not forget that electric heating blankets come into direct contact with our body, so extreme precautions must be taken to avoid any type of incident:
- Do not use it in a damp place.
- Keep your pet away to avoid tears and damage to their wiring.
- Do not eat or drink during use to avoid spillage of liquids which may cause a problem with the thermostat.
- In case of liquid spillage, do not touch it and unplug it immediately.
- Never use it folded.
Inevitably, the electric blanket wrinkles over time. These kinks can lead to failures in your electrical system. For security reasons, it must be discarded.
For cleaning, you should carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. As a general rule, be sure to remove the outer cable and use a short program at a temperature of 30°C and let it (preferably) air dry. Before using it again, you must check that it is completely dry.
Under no circumstances should you iron it.